Our Younger OFers

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  • #132066
    Avatarbccran
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    Are AAA stats the end all? Of course not, but my guess is that many members inside the Cardinals organization look at them as having at least some indicator value.

    The Cardinals brought in Jose Martinez after he lit it up for the Omaha Storm Chasers. Years ago, they brought in an older Ryan Ludwick when he tore it up for the Toledo Mud Hens.

    So in analyzing the younger Cardinal outfielders, maybe it’s not all that bad to at least take a peak at their AAA numbers.

    Dylan Carlson – .361/.418/.681/1.099 (only 18 games)
    Austin Dean – .331/.398/.546/.944 (160 games)
    Tyler O’Neill – .267/.339/.554/.893 (235 games)
    Rangel Ravelo – .293/.369/.452/.821 (418 games)
    Lane Thomas – .270/.342/.472/.814 (107 games)
    Harrison Bader – .275/.345/.465/.810 (188 games)
    Justin Williams – .271/.333/.423/.756 (151 games)

    Doesn’t factor in defense, speed, etc. but at least it’s a glimmer into their possible future offensive contributions.

    #132095
    Avatar14NyquisT
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    When all is said and done, it is scouting and on-field organizational personnel that determines a player’s true projection. They see the variables like a prospect’s knowledge of the game, how they play the game, defense and probably attitude. Scouts aren’t paid to look at statistics which can be found elsewhere, they are there to assess projections. Decisions should be based on a consensus of what the scouts see and what they hear from managers and coaches.

    I read a post regarding Lane’s Milb numbers (which are not eye-opening) and from them one would picture a very mediocre player. Obviously the organization sees something else in him that raises his all important MLB projection. In this case it is based on the MLB team’s needs, another variable.

    Carlson’s earlier career stats were pitiful on paper until you take into account his age and the level he was playing at. That didn’t lower his projection because the very knowledgeable saw things that, if anything, improved the course they felt he would take. Then he went out and proved them right. The only thing left to be determined is if his projection actually converts to MLB performance. Additionally they must feel that if not in 2020 he will eventually be a stater in St. Louis. “Can’t miss” is a powerful evaluation and tag.

    #132097
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Well put, Ny. If organizations could run by the numbers and if players would never improve, teams could save millions by cutting their scouts and player development personnel, and get by without the knowledge accrued from their decades of collective experience.

    #132114
    Avatarbccran
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    Ny – I’m only going by what Gary Laroque said at Winter Warm Up.
    BW heard him too. Gary said that the lower levels of the minors for a prospect are developmental – working on different aspects of their game. But when they get to AA and AAA, it’s time for them to produce – to put up stats to differentiate themselves from others and show that they’re putting forth everything they have to get a shot at the big show. That’s why I put some emphasis on the upper level stats and less on the lower level.
    Case in point would be the example put forth on this thread – Dylan Carlson.

    #132116
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    At Double-A, Lane Thomas led the entire Cardinals system in home runs and RBI and ranked in the top 10 in the system in runs, hits, doubles, triples, walks and stolen bases. Further, playing in center mostly, he did not commit an error all season. He was a Texas League mid- and post-season All-Star. But you don’t like him, which is your right. Fortunately the Cardinals do.

    #132120
    Avatarbccran
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    I like Thomas okay. But he regressed when he got to Memphis. Whereas in his short time at Memphis, Carlson excelled.

    #132123
    AvatarSoonerinNC
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    A Tampa Bay scout once told me that how a player will make adjustments if the hardest thing in identifying how far a player will advance. It seems that some of the best players are those who improve their performance when they move up a level.

    Another factor is how well their overall approach to the game plays at the higher levels. Maybe fewer holes in their swing, etc.

    A possible example will be Gorman. He was a bit better at Palm Beach than at Peoria last year and in my opinion was much better in spring training. Typically spring training results don’t count as much but he was facing pitchers comparable and more advanced than the typical High A pitcher. He seriously cut down his strikeouts and looked much more in control at the plate. I was really looking forward to his 2020 season.

    If I had to predict who will win the left field job I would pick Thomas. But I am somewhat unsure that Bader will hold on to the starting job in center field. Adding the DH will help a little but the Cardinals can ill afford to give him a lot of time to get going and may have to utilize him as a late inning defensive replacement and base runner. Thomas may end up the regular center fielder with O’Neill or Carlson in left field.

    #132125
    Avatargscottar
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    I don’t see the need to anguish over Thomas one way or the other. The Cardinals like him but I don’t think they have unrealistic expectations of him. They seem to have him currently penciled in as the number 4 OF and a candidate to take over CF if Bader falters. My prediction for the opening day OF is O’Neill in LF, Bader in CF, and Fowler in RF. Thomas will be next man up and Carlson will be headed to St. Louis in early August.

    #132127
    Avatarbccran
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    Mo has said in public that he digs the long ball. That’s why he gave Carp that big ticket extension. In 2018 Thomas had a HR every 21.2 plate appearances. In 2019, that dropped off at Memphis to one every 34.8 plate appearances. If you want to talk about Thomas as a 4th outfielder (or a decent all around centerfielder), that’s great. But to talk about him as an answer at one of the corner OF positions, I don’t know. Normally, don’t you look to your corners on both the IF and OF for power? Goldy is fine, but is Carp going to be? O’Neill has potential, but what about Fowler?

    #132131
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    No anguish over Thomas here. But when bccran wrote the other day he wouldn’t be surprised if the starting OF would become Carlson, Dean and Ravelo (not exact quote, but the gist), it spoke volumes about his confidence in Bader, O’Neill, Thomas and of course, Fowler. That seemed an extreme prediction to me.

    #132134
    Avatarbccran
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    Your right, BW.

    Fowler is on the downside of his career and it’s sad to watch him in the outfield now. His skills have declined and the effort just doesn’t seem to be there. At the plate, as a corner outfielder last season, he slashed
    .238/.346/.409/.755. That simply doesn’t hack it on a contending club. At least in my thinking.

    Harrison Bader is no doubt an outstanding centerfielder, although I don’t think he has needed to leave his feet as much on some plays as was necessary. Loves that roar of the crowd. I guess I just have a problem watching him with a cutesy flip of the bat hitting for a .205 average. That .314 OBP and .680 OPS both seem kind of anemic too. Is he more than a Pete Kozma type? I guess we’ll have to see, but there mot much time to have patience with him waving at those high fast balls and low and away sliders in a 60 game season.

    O’Neill may have the highest upside. But he could be caught in between the power swing and the contact swing right now.
    He’s had two shots at the Cardinals outfield and has struck out 110 times in 293 plate appearances over 2018 and 2019.
    His K rate at AAA was 27% in close to 1,000 plate appearances. If he can just get that MLB OPS up a little from .761 for a corner outfielder it would be helpful.

    Thomas? Again, he slid last year. I would have kept Arozarena and traded Thomas. Randy was on a blistering pace at AAA and he was exciting at the MLB level. Really liked his energy and the way he tried to help beat the other team – any way he could.

    Dean? Great numbers at AAA and has a hard time converting those to productivity at the MLB level. But the third time could be a charm.

    Ravelo? He was the guy Memphis counted on in the pinch, under pressure as the Redbirds drove to win it all. Money player.

    The key is who will be the #2 and #3 outfielders going forward with Carlson. That probably still remains to be seen.

    #132135
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Here is a prediction from me. If the regular starting OF really becomes Carlson, Dean and Ravelo, then the 2020 season has been lost.

    #132139
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    He’s had two shots at the Cardinals outfield and has struck out 110 times in 293 plate appearances over 2018 and 2019.

    Has he had two shots? From my memory, he had one stretch of starts when Ozuna went down in 2019 but otherwise has been a bench bat who gets spotty plate appearances. Oh, and his slash line for July of last year .301/.341/.482. His K rate was 25% and his walk rate 5.7%. To be fair, he got hurt and that ended the momentum, but his 116 wRC+ during that month was 7% better than Ozuna’s for the year.

    #132151
    Avatarbccran
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    You’re right, 25, TO does have an upside. Does he lift heavy weights or stretch out his muscles? Does he go for contact where the ball is pitched, or wait for a pitch to jack? He has some things to work out and I hope for his success.
    And BW, predictions can be iffy. I simply wouldn’t write off the potential of Ravelo and Dean. Always better to perhaps acknowledge their upside than to risk having a gourmet meal of crow mas tarde.

    #132153
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    I am happy to accept the risk of eating your crow over Ravelo and Dean – because I know the chances of you having to do the same for O’Neill and Thomas are considerably higher. 😉

    #132155
    Avatarbccran
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    I have never said the O’Neill and Thomas didn’t have upside.
    They both do. They have some work to do to prove it, though. At this time they are unproven, just like Dean and Ravelo.

    My main contention all along has only been that it’s unusual for a contending team to go into a season with an outfield like this, with no certain performer. Name one season that the Cardinals have rolled the dice like this.

    #132159
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    Which player would you prefer?

    4.5 war over 1177 PA’s or
    5.6 war over 925 PA’s

    3.0 war over 1288 PA’s or
    1.5 war over 293 PA’s

    Ozuna and Jose Martinez are gone, Bader and O’Neill are in line for full time duty. The career stl numbers (BRef) support those decisions. I like this outfield better than last seasons, especially the depth that includes Edman.

    #132160
    Avatarbccran
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    Ozuna was the only proven bat. He’s gone.

    #132161
    Euro DandyEuro Dandy
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    bccran, I get your concern about the lack of an OF anchor. Bader and O’Neill have potential, but it’s hard to get past those Ks. It’s not just the K rate, it’s how they look doing it. Maybe this will be the year it clicks for them.

    I’m not disappointed they let Ozuna walk. Don’t think a multi-year investment in him was a good idea. This will be the year they have to go with the hot bat(s) in the OF, short leash and all. I just hope one or two emerge.

    #132162
    Avatarbccran
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    Euro – I didn’t have a problem with them not extending Ozuna. What I had a problem with was their inability to bring in a proven veteran through a short term FA contract or a trade.

    #132166
    Avatar14NyquisT
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    I have been criticized by one poster here for what he sees as harping on the Fowler signing. Let’s take a reality check…what can we expect from Fowler? In all accounts our GM was flat out wrong with this signing and has compounded his mistake by forcing our manager(s) to place him in the lineup.

    It appears that to cover this situation (little offensive and defensive help). Mozeliak brought in Ozuna and prayed that he would continue with what he produced in Miami (big HR numbers and a golden glove). Ultimately we didn’t get that and now he’s gone anyway.

    So here we are in 2020 almost being forced to start young prospects making small salaries. There won’t be any big $$ OF acquisitions until that Fowler money expires. Now Mozeliak is hoping that at least one of the LF candidates can reach his potential in St. Louis. He is forced again to find a power bat to play LF to offset the lack of the same in the other corner…. and on the cheap of course.

    Wishin’ and hopin’ and prayin’. Not a sound course to be taking. All of this is mostly my opinion but there’s a lot of truth in it. And I’ll get to Mozeliak a little later.

    #132178
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    I get your concern bc, about the batting results of the current outfielders. By letting Ozuna and J. Martinez leave our outfield D took a leap forward, and remember, we’re a pitch and defend roster.

    As soon as we wear Fowler off the roster we’ll have nothing but athletes in the OF who can run, catch and throw. Bader, O’Neill, Carlson, Edman, Thomas, etc.; I love this direction. We have multiple 10 to 20mil players scattered across the infield, they better hit, and earn those contracts.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl.
    #132182
    Avatarbccran
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    JJ – so we’ll need to rely mainly on Goldy, Wong, PDJ, Carp, and Yadi to carry the offense? Let’s think about that.

    #132185
    Euro DandyEuro Dandy
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    Yep, defense and pitching better be pretty darn good. That means Carp needs to be hitting well enough to fit the DH role. Fowler must EARN innings by outperforming others at the plate early on, or else he needs to be a backup. We know he’s not going to provide an edge in the field.

    #132188
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    That’s the $ commitment we’ve made bc. I know you wanted more $ spent on an outfielder, but we’ve already committed 50mil to Fowler, Carp and Yadi last season. THEY need to produce better than below league average. They shouldn’t get a pass because they’re “proven”.

    The microscope shouldn’t be on our youth trying to establish themselves (O’Neill, Thomas, Carlson) just because the big ticket boys aren’t producing.

    BR had 1.5, 1.3 and 1.2 war for Fowler, Yadi and Carp last season.
    FG had 1.5, 1.2 and 1.2 (league avg is still 2.0)

    Bader was 2.1 and 1.8war. I’d expect those high salary guys to outproduce Bader, yet here’s another of multiple threads calling out Bader and O’Neill while the above 3 “proven” underachievers from last season get a pass.

    As a develop from within org we’re always going to have an O’Neill type trying to crack the lineup. What we need is proven to produce.

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